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Two dozen arrested for Karachi target killings

Security forces on Thursday arrested over two dozen suspects for the political—ethnic killings in this southern port city that have left 25 people dead as Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani urged the Sindh chief minister to take strict action against perpetrators of the violence.

The paramilitary Pakistan Rangers, called in to control the situation, made the arrests under the Anti—Terrorism Act and seized a number of weapons from the suspects, Online news agency reported.

The violence —— which began late Tuesday, continued through the day on Wednesday and spilled over to Thursday morning —— targeted activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) the Awami National Party (ANP), the Muhajir Qaumi Movement—Pakistan (MQM—P) and the Jamaat—e—Islami (JI) The News said.

Ironically, the MQM is a junior partner in the Sindh and federal coalition governments, both of which are headed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The ANP is also part of the federal coalition.

Despite this, the MQM and the ANP have constantly been at loggerheads as they push the interests of their respective communities — the Mohajirs who migrated from India when the sub—continent was partitioned and the Pushtoon—origin residents of Karachi.

Mr. Gilani, in a telephonic conversation with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Thursday, expressed grief over the incidents and directed that strict action be taken against the perpetrators.

In wake of the deteriorating security scenario in the city, Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza has convened a meeting of the Rangers, the police and other officials.

“The target killings (led to) the torching of buses, forceful closure of markets, the burning of roadside stalls as well as the targeting of police personnel. The entire city was in the grip of tension, with public transport disappearing from the roads by early (Wednesday) evening, as reports of the violence began to spread,” The News said.

Schools and colleges across the city remained closed on Thursday, while the school examinations scheduled for the day were postponed.

The violence began on Tuesday night when one Nabi Khan, an ANP activist and a mobile phone dealer by profession, was shot dead by armed men in the Shah Faisal Colony area. Later that night, an activist of the MQM, Mohammad Hanif, was shot dead in the same area.

Armed men also resorted to firing near the MQM office in Shah Faisal Colony, injuring two MQM activists.

Shah Faisal Town turned into a virtual war—zone, echoing with fire the entire night. The violence spread to other areas when armed men ransacked an ANP office in Dhoraji Colony, while a hardware shop in the Gulshan—i—Iqbal, was also torched.

The violence continued unabated through Wednesday, with the worst affected areas being Landhi, Quaidabad, Shah Latif, Shahra—e—Noor Jehan, Orangi Town, Peerabad, North Nazimabad, Mehmoodabad, Saddar, Preedy, Risala and the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate, as armed men kept resorting to firing and forcing traders to shut their businesses.

On Thursday, an ANP rally that had been taken out to protest against the killings was ambushed by armed assailants near the Lucky Star area, in which the party’s Mehmoodabad ward president was killed.

Police said that they recovered more than 50 empty bullet shells from the area.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 12:03:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Two-dozen-arrested-for-Karachi-target-killings/article16302187.ece

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